Luca & Bocso: An Ice Cream Lover’s Dream Come True

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By: Debra Liu

Finally, there is an ice cream worth screaming for! With flavors like Smoked Milk, and Rosemary Olive Oil with Spicy Cashew Caramel, Catherine Oddenino and Ruthie Vishlitzky’s Luca & Bosco is a culinary delight, specializing in hand-crafted ice cream that transports the ice cream lover to a world of flavors beyond vanilla. The business name was inspired by their adorable dogs; Luca is the name of Catherine’s white Maltese and Bosco is Ruthie’s chocolate Lab.

Prior to becoming ice cream extraordinaires, Catherine was in online media and Ruthie worked in city government. It all began two years ago when they felt something was missing in ice cream; Catherine wanted more unusual flavors and toppings, while Ruthie was looking for something not so overly sweet. They started experimenting and eventually got the opportunity to work out of Hot Bread Kitchen, an incubator kitchen (check out our blog post on HBK here).

Luca&Bosco maplebacon

You may have noticed Luca & Bosco scooping it up for eager fans all over NYC, including the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg in Willliamsburg as well as the LES Film Festival and the New Amsterdam Market. Soon, we’ll be able to find them permanently at the Essex Street Market.

Their amazing blend of flavors and textures is what makes Luca & Bosco stand out. Currently, there are 50 flavors (and growing!) including Peanut Crack, which according to Catherine, “is a toasted peanut ice cream, rather than using peanut butter, we put toasted peanuts and peanut brittle inside it and so then the brittle starts to melt a little bit but still has a touch of crunch left.” That definitely sounds addictive! Spice Magic, another flavor, is a perfect blend of warm spices and anise liqueur and has been likened to feel like a “warm mink coat.” Crowd favorites include Whiskey Fudge Rebellion and Drunk and Salty Caramel.

What inspires these Luca & Bosco flavors that are out-of-this-world? Catherine and Ruthie are constantly finding inspiration and ideas from travels, foods, and dining experiences. The Rosemary Olive Oil with Spicy Cashew Caramel flavor came from a spiced nut that Catherine makes for friends every holiday season.

Luca&Bosco milkytea

Something they get asked frequently is what their favorite flavors are. Catherine is a big fan of bacon (she hosts a bacon party every year! How awesome is that?!) so one of her favorites is Maple Bacon and for Ruthie, Toasted Coconut Vanilla Bean. It’s a really hard question to answer, Catherine says, because each flavor is like a baby they’ve nurtured so they truly love them all.

When it comes down to it, for Catherine and Ruthie, it’s all about bringing smiles to people’s faces. When Luca & Bosco opens at Essex Street Market this week, they plan to serve 6-8 rotating flavors to keep people smiling all day long. Their ice creams, toppings and cookies are gluten-free too. Be sure to check them out! We know we will.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

Making a Difference

By: Gabby Zilkha

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The second I heard about Hot Bread Kitchen, I fell in love. From its structure, to its location, this place is a true combination of everything that is right in business.

Hot Bread Kitchen is located on 115th street and Park Ave in  la Marqueta. La Marqueta is  an old historic marketplace that  used to be very popular. It has died down a bit since then but has since been building back momentum with Hot Bread Kitchen.

It all starts with the people. The founder and CEO, Jessamyn Rodriguez, employs immigrant women and uses each of the women’s cultural backgrounds to create a melting pot of recipes. The profits from the bread pay for classes for the women. There are multiple classes offered from ESL to how to start your own business. Hot Bread Kitchen creates support in a difficult environment and they do it with social justice and passion.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!!!

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A super cool incubator!

They only use half of the commercial kitchen for the women bakers project. The other half of the kitchen is used for the incubator program. The incubator program gives other businesses the opportunity to work with Hot Bread Kitchen by renting out their commercial kitchen for their start up food businesses. This helps to minimize the large start up financial cost for distributing food.

They create a network for the food vendors where they can swap information. For example they hold entrepreneur exchange meetings where they give all the business owners a chance to share information, which varies from where they are getting their ingredients to what markets they are in. In addition to that, using the name Hot Bread Kitchen allows for their incubators to connect with potential big order clients. They do not make the sales for them they just make the connection. And the training and connecting works! They already have SIX of their food vendors selling in Whole Foods and many more in green markets across New York!

Bread is best when made with Social Justice!
Bread is best when made with Social Justice!

Hot Bread Kitchen is an amazing place. Go there. Hear the stories. Eat the Bread. Look out for some of the graduates of the program as well: Taste of Ethiopia, Runner & Stone, Pipsnacks,  and Donna Bells Bake Shop.You will not be disappointed especially because you know exactly where your money is going when you purchase bread or make a donation to this wonderful Non-Profit Organization.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com
 

2.5 Million New Yorker’s Have Trouble Affording Enough Food

Startling news came in from the USDA today about hunger and poverty rates in New York City. The survey measured results from 2008 and 2010, and found that 2.5 million New Yorkers couldn’t afford enough food, a 50 percent increase from a similar survey taken from 2005 and 2007. The data goes deeper to note that 702,000 state residents are classified as officially going hungry, while one in seven cannot afford food at some point in a given year. These results are higher than any ever recorded before, and mark a severe problem in New York.

According to the USDA, numbers leveled off in 2010 after a three year drop, but have taken a turn for the worse. High levels of funding for state-sponsored programs may have accounted for less hunger in recent years, but recent budget cuts may have reversed this. In 2010 President Obama and Congress cut federal funding for food banks, soup kitchens and food pantries by 40% nationwide (and in New York City).

Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger said “This is the highest level of state hunger since the government started counting it. This new data proves that, over the last few years, millions of New Yorkers were at the edge of an economic cliff, with many falling off into hunger but some barely hanging on with the aid of government nutrition programs”.

New Yorker’s inside and outside of the food industry can help to rectify this situation. Nonprofits organizations are always looking for volunteers, like the Hot Bread Kitchen, which offers training to low income women to develop their own businesses. Other organizations like City Harvest work to collect excess food from restaurants and deliver them to those in need. With hunger rates rising and government programs declining, more weight than ever falls upon our efforts and those of nonprofits to keep our city full.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com